Segment… not Slice & Dice

March 23, 2009
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We spent last week exhibiting at Marketing Sherpa’s Email Summit in Miami and one of the major questions we received from eMarketers was about Segmentation – mainly how to stand out in the inbox. A natural question due to the emphasis placed on email marketing as everyone looks for ways to control costs and measure ROI.

Segmentation is truly an art; if you’re not careful you could simply be slicing and dicing your list without even realizing it. Don’t get me wrong, random splits play their part, but for effective segmentation you really need to incorporate elements of relevance to the recipient. As an eMarketer we know which recipients are prospects and which are customers, we know who is engaged and who is non-responsive – to get to the next level you have to get personal. Well segmented campaigns have to meet the needs of the recipient, incorporate their survey responses, follow their behaviors (Reverse Preferences) and then make an effort at responding to those needs…


We spent last week exhibiting at Marketing Sherpa’s Email Summit in Miami and one of the major questions we received from eMarketers was about Segmentation – mainly how to stand out in the inbox. A natural question due to the emphasis placed on email marketing as everyone looks for ways to control costs and measure ROI.

Segmentation is truly an art; if you’re not careful you could simply be slicing and dicing your list without even realizing it. Don’t get me wrong, random splits play their part, but for effective segmentation you really need to incorporate elements of relevance to the recipient. As an eMarketer we know which recipients are prospects and which are customers, we know who is engaged and who is non-responsive – to get to the next level you have to get personal. Well segmented campaigns have to meet the needs of the recipient, incorporate their survey responses, follow their behaviors (Reverse Preferences) and then make an effort at responding to those needs.

Ultimately your recipient is no different than any of us – we spend only a few seconds looking at marketing messages (if we open them.) We check our personal email after work, while the TV is on or we take a quick glace while multi-tasking at work. We’re distracted, we’re fickle and we want to know that you are paying attention to us. Think about your inbox, are there messages that truly spoke to you? Was it because it struck a chord of relevance? Ask yourself these questions and think about what you would like to see when you’re creating your campaigns and applying effective segmentation to your list.

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